Interior light won't turn off when doors are closed


Asked by Dec 18, 2015 at 12:17 PM about the 2008 Ford Escape

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The book says the light should go off in 25 seconds after the doors are closed.
The three position switch in the center position should turn the light on if the
doors are open but any time the switch is in that position, my light stays on!

36 Answers


Try spraying some WD40 into the door latches worked for me when I had that problem.

17 people found this helpful.

Hi Firebird, I tried it... didn't work for me. I did learn though (thanks) that the switch must be inside the door locks or latches somewhere because there are no push button externally visible anywhere. I'm not getting any door ajar indications so I think the switches must be operable.

9 people found this helpful.

Just for the heck of it try putting the switch in one of the other positions and see if the lights go out then the other position since you have three position switch.

9 people found this helpful.

The inside light that does not want to shut off is it in the front ? If it is like my daughters 2014 Escape the light is a push light. Push the center of the light and see if it clicks off. I remember this because her light was staying on one night and she did not know why. It had me going for a little bit but i figured it out.

26 people found this helpful.

I like the way you think... Outside the box. I tried the other positions of the switch as you suggested... no luck. FYI, this is a cluster of 3 lights. The dome light and two map lights. The three position switch is best described as 2 positions in addition to the off position. One in 'on', the other is 'door'. When in the center (door) position all three lights are on and stay on but shouldn't if the doors are closed. The two map lights each have a push button that will turn the assoc, bulb on when the main switch is off. Thanks for your suggestions; generally the simple answer is the most likely one. I expect now that the problem lies in the electronic timing circuit. Jim

12 people found this helpful.

Open the rear hatch and close again making sure it is shut tight and all the other doors and see what happens.

26 people found this helpful.

Hi Firebird and anyone who might be interested. I must with humility confess that I overlooked something which should have been obvious. I had the dome light lit with the dashboard dimmer switch; one 'click' above maximum. This turned on the lamp and it stayed lit. One contributor, Guy Outland, sent me a copy of a publication giving a great description of how all the light are designed to work and viola, that light-bulb in my numb skull came on. Thanks for your help with this. It wasn't wasted... Merry Christmas to all. Jim Christensen

114 people found this helpful.

Jimmy you the man. 9 months later and you helped me out haha thank you

11 people found this helpful.

Thanks Jimmy! Your solution solved my dilemma too lol

6 people found this helpful.

wait for one minute, it is all about time dear.

1 people found this helpful.

Gosh, lots of help. Thanks to all and Merry Christmas too!

3 people found this helpful.

jimmy could you send me a copy of the publication?


All interior lights , door ajar, and lights under the exterior mirrors are staying on. Any help out there?

28 people found this helpful.

I drove the car the light went out then I parked rolled down the window got out with car still running then reached in and turned off lights stayed off try to fix in the morning


Thank you, Jimmy. Mine was the dimmer light as well. Kind regards, Pete

4 people found this helpful.

Had the same issue with my 2007 Ford Windstar - Jimmy saved my day (and possibly a humiliating visit to a mechanic). Dimmer light that I probably accidentally switch with my knee.

8 people found this helpful.

this also fixed my problem. I can't believe that turning the dashlights all the way up turns your interior lights on. what idiotic engineer comes up with this shit? what a useless and annoying 'feature'

7 people found this helpful.

Jimmy you are my hero! After 2 month with the light fuse removed, you solved my problem! Thank you!!

2 people found this helpful.

Thank you would have never looked at instrument dimmer very helpful


Way to go Jimmy! Solved my son's problem too! We were perplexed as both overhead light AND cargo area light were staying lit -> not 3 position switch. Door ajar light not lit -> not any of the door latch switches.

2 people found this helpful.

c4naan - hmmmm the dash dimmer switch when rotated all the way has turned on the overhead cabin light since the 70's. The question is why is it not on some sort of timer as when you open or close the door.

1 people found this helpful.

my interior lights stay on turn down dimmer but also my park lights don't shut off either

2 people found this helpful.

Hi folks..great feed. I have a 2007 Fusion which had the same problem till I read here about the Dimmer switch turned to max+: same situation, same outcome. I was ready to tear the light out of the fixture. Thank you. Now I can sleep.

1 people found this helpful.

I'm surprised by how many folks have had this problem. I'm glad I posted the 'solution' . I felt I had a little 'egg on my face' and was reluctant to do so.

3 people found this helpful.

I have this same problem. I disconnected the summer all together and the interior lights still stay on. Anything else I can look ar??

2 people found this helpful.

Anyone out there can help me? My interior lights stay on but my door ajar light goes out. I disconnected my dimmer switch because on a sunny day I can't tell if it is working or not. The lights will not go out. Had to pull bulbs out.


Lol!!! I’ve googled and read and googled and read, then I read down this thread a little further, headed out to the car to see if I could find something that seemed similar to the dash dimmer and IT WORKED!!!!! I was really starting to hit the panic bottom after being in a season of movin to a new home and it seems like there is a new “bill” every time we turn around! So grateful the Lord sent me to yalls thread! Thank you!

1 people found this helpful.

Helped me too!

1 people found this helpful.

Hi everybody !! I have a FORD Five Hundred 2006 and when open the driver door side the radio and the interiors lights doesn't turn off.... Some i have seen this issue before ?? Thanks !!

3 people found this helpful.

Worked for me. Thanks Jim

1 people found this helpful.

Thanks Jim!!! I bet you never knew how many people you would help. I had recently cleaned my dashboard and would never have thought that the dimmer switch had a notch above the top level. What a dumb feature but you helped me quickly!

1 people found this helpful.

I'm sure happy I shared this even though I was embarrassed with the simple solution. Someone pointed out this has been a feature since the 70's; I wonder how many others had the same issue before all this with us and how many more there will be; I see people still have the problem from time to time. Jim


I literally had been searching all day for a solution as to why the interior lights would not go off. I had even decided to just pull the fuse when I got home. Then I found this thread and when I read Jimmy's epiphany moment, I reached down and turned the lights are finally off! Jimmy you are a Good send!

2 people found this helpful.

Wow ... it keeps going and going. Some day I'm going to check out a new car and see if the engineers have ever 'fixed' this problem. Jim

I got them off but now they won’t turn on automatically.

Open the hatch, the part on the lift gate that hooks to keep it closed, use your finger to "close" that hook part. This will turn off the lights (great for the drive in when you want doors closed, lights off, but lift gate open!!!). Just be sure to OPEN that hook again before closing the lift gate, or you'll cause some serious damage to the mechanism. Hope this helps :)

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